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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  March 10, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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and that is why i would turn almost every year with my friend, john lewis, to walk over that year to remind myself
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 404, the nays are one. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from connecticut rise? >> madam speaker, by the direction of the democratic caucus, i send to the desk a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1156, resolved, that the following named member be and is hereby elected to the following standing committee of the house of representatives, committee on the budget, mr. moore of kansas. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> madam speaker, ski unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.con.res. 248. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker a message from the president of the united states.
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the secretary: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: mr. secretary. the secretary: i'm directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 3433, an act to amend the northern -- the north american weapons conservation act to establish requirements regarding payment on the nonfederal share of the cost of weapons, conservation -- of wetlands conservation funded under that act and for other purposes.
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the speaker pro tempore: chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable, the speaker, house of representatives, madam, this is to notify you formally, pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the house of representative, that i have been served with a grand jury subpoena for testimony by the united states district court for the eastern district of michigan. after consulting with my attorney, i will make the determinations required by rule 8. signed, sincerely, carolyn c. kilpatrick, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, madam, this is to notify you formally, pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the house of representatives that i have been served -- served with a subpoena for testimony and documents by the united states district court for the eastern district of new york.
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after consultation with the office of general council -- of general counsel, i determined the subpoena is inconsistent with the precedents and privileges of the house. signed, sincerely, john d. dingell, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members please take your conversations off the floor. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on the motion to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered, or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. any record vote on the postponed question will be taken later.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4573 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4573 a bill to direct the secretary of the treasury to instruct the united states executive directors at the international monetary fund, the world bank, the inter-american development bank and other multilateral development institutions to use the voice vote and influence of the united states to cancel immediately and completely haiti's debts to such institutions and for other hurps. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks, and the gentleman from california, mr. miller, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. mix: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent --
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mr. meeks: madam speaker, i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation and insert extraneous material thereon. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. meeks: i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. meeks: -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend, please. if we could get some order. if -- will people please take their conversations off the floor. the gentleman will proceed. mr. meeks: today, madam speaker, we consider an issue close to all of our hearts. haiti suffered a devastating earthquake on january 12 of this year. the country, which was finally making strides to a more stable and economic political role after so many failed governments of the past was rocked by a natural disaster of historic proportions. the images of the disaster are pressure fresh in our minds and
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the desire of the global community and the average american citizen to help haiti recover as fast as possible are clear and gives us all hope. earlier today i joined with president obama and other members of the house at the white house in restating america's commitment to stand by our brothers and sisters in haiti and lend them a hand up to get back on the path to economic growth and social healing. in speaking with president perval today, i told him haiti's debt relief was the first of a broader set of initiatives we would undertake to allow the people of haiti to rebuild their businesses, their lives, and their communities. as chair of the international monetary trade subcommittee, i am proud to have moved this bill successfully in a strongly bipartisan manner, and i thank the woman who worked hard to make this bill happen, the chairwoman of the subcommittee of housing, the gentlelady from california, maxine waters, who
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has been a long and hard supporter for haiti. forgiving haiti's debts to the world bank, i.m.f., and iadd is a good policy is the right thing to do. but forgiving the debts alone will not deliver tents to provide shelter from the impeding rainy system. debt relief alone won't rebuild hospitals, roads, and schools they hey tee needs to get back two. debt relief alone won't develop the human capital the country needs so desperately. from the state department to the other departments, we must not lose sight of the longer term needs of this country its government and its people. indeed, we are now moving to the second and third phase of a long and arduous process, mainly moving from immediate
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rescue to reconstruction and ultimately long-term economic recovery. doing this will require leadership by the haitian people and government as they take ownership for their future. it will also require effective coordination of our aid and development efforts to eliminate waste, duplication and ultimately loss of good will. as we do all this and its implementation as planned, special attention needs to be paid to the need to rebuild haiti's human capital. several government agencies are at work doing this and aisle ep -- i'll keep pressure on on them as will others in this house as well as on banks and other institutions to ensure they invest heavily in developing the people of haiti and the institutions of haiti to allow them to effectively govern and set their own path to a brighter future with dignity and independence. lastly, i will keep the pressure on the international institutions to deliver resources to haiti without adding to the nation's long-term debt burden.
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in over 200 years of independence, haiti has been saddled with unsustainable debts. whether extraordinary high debts owed to the french as a condition of independence, as often brought up by congressman green of houston, or international institutions saddling the people of haiti with debts diverted by dictators in the second half of the 20th century, or over $1 billion in debt owed today despite the country having earned debt forgiveness last year. the people of haiti have worked far too long and far too hard to repay debt they had little say in securing and which yielded little benefit to the average citizen this game of debt accrual and debt forgiveness must end. i will be doing my part to try to make sure that happens. the people of haiti deserve better than that and deserve a chance to invest in their own futures. madam chair, i reserve the
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balance of my time. . gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i yield to the the gentleman from alabama, mr. bachus, as much time as he may consume the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. bachus: i commend the gentleman for his work on this legislation and i commend chairman waters and chairman meeks for their work and other members who i think have worked in a bipartisan way for an excellent legislation and a very worthy legislation. i rise in complete support for debt relief for the earthquake recovery act. if you picked a country and a capital in a country anywhere in the world, which could least deal with the devastating earthquake, it would be
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port-au-prince, haiti. you could not visualize a worse scenario. the immediate legacy, other than which you witnessed on the tv screens here in america is that there vib virtually a generation -- virtually a generation of orphans who have lost their parents. that alone would be a challenge. think of new orleans and what a challenge that has been for our country. for haiti, it is a monday mental undertaking -- monumental undertaking and it is hard to visualize in our lifetime seeing haiti recover. the human tragedy following that earthquake is overwhelming. and as haiti citizens seek to rebuild, i think it's very
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important for us to stand with them and alongside them. and i commend the administration for their efforts since the earthquake. many of our agencies are there. many of our charities are there. many of our church groups are there. many of our n.g.o.'s are there. the jubilee, melinda st. louis and her organization and tom havert -- hart of the one campaign and they have highlighted the need in haiti and many other impoverished countries. the first measure we can take other than the american volunteers and government efforts, to ensure that all of haiti's remaining resources are devoted to reconstruction and not to development loans, that
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it is unrealistic to expect can ever be repaid. and this legislation is a part of that step. haiti's impoverished condition dates back to its origins under french colonial rule, 1804, 205, 206 years ago, when haiti citizens won their independence in a revolution, similar to our revolution, from the french colonial regime, france imposed a blockade and imposed and extracted a promise of a 21 billion reparations and that's $21 billion in today's currency. that is greater than the debt incurred at that time by the united states. a much bigger government. when they were born as a
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country, they were immediately -- their enslavement continued. and the amazing thing, if you look at that debt that the french imposed and you read about it, part of the debt was repayment for compensation of property, which included the slave population. i mean, that's amazing. that's amazing. and that's something that we can't do anything about. we can do something today. but when the french lost their ability to enslave that population, they extracted, because of their navy, a blockade and that debt. with the country's economic
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productivity to pay off this debt, which has never been paid off because there were other debts added, economic development is stifled since 1804. and some say, why haiti? why is it so poor? it never stood a chance. in more recent times, just to think it can't get worse than that, the dictatorship was responsible for more than 40% of the additional loans to haiti. i mean, think about loaning a dictator who is supressing his people. we have seen it in africa and other places and it's an absurdity that we ought to address it in other places and haiti, because in that way, countries that did that contributed to it.
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the brutal regime furthered spoiled the country by diverting funds borrowed for development for their own personal enrichment. with this history, it's no surprise that haiti was deeply impoverished, as i said, begins since the beginning of their foundation as a nation. this bill takes a very fine first step toward the goal of eliminating haiti's uncollect i believe debt so the country can begin the process of becoming self-sustainment. the text to be considered says the treasury secretary should direct u.s. representatives at international financial institutions to work with their colleagues to achieve cancellation of debt owed by haiti to those institutions. since any cancellation would take months to accomplish, it
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seeks suspension of debt payment services until the cancellation takes place. none of these institutions realistically expects haiti to service its debt when the country is lying in ruins. former under secretary of bush said, before our committee last week, it's a cruel hoax on both the people of developing countries on the taxpayers of donor nations to pretend that even without an earthquake, a country whose citizens subcyst on $1 or $2 a day is ever going to be able to pay back billions in development loans. even in our current economic challenges, we have not lost our compassion. the president of haiti has given us a greater appreciation for the desperation and suffering of
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those facing challenges and hardships in haiti, although theirs is much greater than anything we are undergoing. the united states -- if you don't hear anything else, if you think about voting against this bill, hear this, the united states has forgiven all its bilateral debt to haiti. we are asking others to do what we have done. what we're doing with this is directing the secretary of state to use her voice and influence to seek debt cancellation among others, among them are venezuela and tie juan. venezuela is the largest bilateral creditor. tie juan is the -- taiwan is a distant second. we can lead by example while we lend a helping hand.
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in conclusion, madam speaker, this bill before us contains some minor changes to the bill that came out of the committee on financial services, all of which i support. changes don't add any cost. they don't change the intent of the bill. added at the end of the original committee text is a section very similar to the bill the senate passed last week by unanimous consent. the section says the secretary of state and treasury should support the creation and use of a multinational trust fund that could include and leverage any future usaid to haiti. and that aid ought to be in the form of grants, not loans and that the secretary of treasury should speed up an inner bank transfers in the interamerica can development bank. these are sensible steps and i
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support the changes and i commend my colleagues who are also here in support of this very worthy legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. meeks: i thank ranking member of the full committee as well as the ranking member of the subcommittee for the cooperative spirit and working together in getting this bill to where it is today. thank you for working in a bipartisan manner. i would like to yield five minutes to the the gentlewoman from california, who is the author of this bill and supporter for the great country of haiti, maxine waters. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. waters: i would like to thank the gentleman from new york, mr. gregory meeks for the time and i appreciate all of the work he has done on this bill. indeed, i would like to thank all of the members who support this bill including barney frank, the chairman of the financial services committee who made sure we got the bill up and
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going and we could expedite it in a way that we have never seen a bill expedited. spencer bachus, i appreciate that he understands thoroughly the history of haiti and what it means to the world. gregory meeks, the chairman of the international monetary policy, whose manager's amendment added so much in the way of improvement to this bill. and representative ros-lehtinen, ranking member of the foreign affairs committee, elliott engel, chairman of the western hemisphere committee and all of the other co-sponsors of the bill and the congressional black caucus. i like to thank my senior legislative assistant who worked very hard on this bill. kathleen is an expert on debt relief and has workd


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